Tornado Claims in California on the Increase

Tornado Claims in California on the Increase

Latest twister claims from the mid west and southern states are estimated to be over 1 billion dollars in destruction. Usually, when people think of California, they think of earthquakes, wildfires, flooding and mudslides. Alternatively, over the last year, we have gone through unheard of damage from rainfall and high winds.

Southern California has seen unusual prolonged wind gusts recorded up to 140 mph and has maintained an unusually cold climate this last year. Northern California has had its share of interesting weather as well. The northern inland regions have seen their share of tornado’s in 2011. Thankfully, these incidents of tornado’s are isolated.

In March of 2011, a tornado went down Nicolaus Drive in the small town of Williams, California, leaving a one mile track of destruction. The EF0 rated tornado that went through Williams was consequently re-rated and upgraded to an EF1 rating.

Events such as this isolated tornado damage homes in California in different ways than in homes of the Midwest. In California, the construction codes are different and usually do not require typhoon clips to secure roofs, so even a low grade tornado event in California may cause enough damage for a total loss of a roof or structure.

Generally, a tornado is a covered loss in California, where a tornado insurance claim is so few and far between that insurance carriers sometimes deny tornado claims based upon wear and tear or construction defect exclusions.

As the weather patterns change, Northern California may detect more tornado’s that touch down. Tornado claims are just like any other insurance claim, and should be brought to the insurance carrier’s attention immediately as the statute of limitations begins to run from the date of loss.


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